Hunting the Whitetail Rut and Pre-Rut

Posted: September 11, 2014 by gamegetterII in Archery, hunting
Tags: , , ,

As the days get shorter,and nights start getting colder,deer start getting ready for breeding-otherwise known as the rut.
There are some very effective ways you can hunt during the rut,and the weeks leading up to it.

The NE Ohio whitetail rut usually peaks the first or second  week of November.

The pre-rut activity starts about mid-October. The first week of October,there is something you can do to attract bucks to your hunting area.

Find a field/woods edge,or the edge of different types of cover that has some small trees,with branches that are about 4-6′ off the ground.

Make your own scrape line by raking an area about 3-4′ in diameter clear of all leaves,twigs and debris-you want to have bare ground. Make one of these every 50′ or so. Do not use any doe in estrous urine,doe urine,or dominant buck urine yet-use your own-just piss in the areas you just cleared.

Make these scrape lines near all of your stand/blind locations,but make sure they are near one of the main deer trails.

I start using doe in estrous scents the last week of Oct. put several drops in each of your fake scrapes,I also take some green cotton balls,and put some doe in estrous scent on them,put them in a zip-loc bag,and drop one every 100 yards or so along the deer trails that lead to my fake scrape lines.

As the peak rut approaches,add more doe in estrous urine to the fake scrapes,add some dominant buck urine,and start using some of the scent dispensers that you hang from branches. I use two types,the scent wicks that are dipped in the  bottle of estrous doe urine,and the type that you fill with the estrous urine,and as you get ready to hang on branch,the wick extends from the bottle-then when you leave-the wick retracts,and you re-cap the bottle for another use.

I pick up all of both types,and take them home in zip-locs.

Pay attention to wind direction,so deer can not catch your scent,and place your stand/blind,and doe in estrous scent wicks so the scent wicks send their scent in direction of the buck’s likely approach route.Place you stand/blind up-wind from the buck’s approach route.

In states where any type of scents or attractants are not legal-hunt the fake scrape lines you made-bucks looking for hot does are going to check the scrapes,dominant bucks looking to run younger bucks out of their territory are going to check out your fake scrapes as well-so hunt your scrape lines,go ahead and piss in ’em-as far as I can tell-there’s no laws against taking a whiz in the woods.

Pay attention to where the does are entering the areas your stands/blinds are set up-if you have to-move your stand/blind 10 yards or so away from where the does enter-does will bust a hunter far more often than a lone buck will,and many times,the buck (s) will be a few yards from the does-still in cover as the does enter an area-watch closely,and many times,you will spot a buck either behind the does,or a few yards to either side of where the does entered your area.

Hunt the scrape lines in early mornings,and again late afternoon ’till dark.

Hunt near water sources in mid-morning to early afternoon.

During the peak days of the rut,I will hang a few scent wicks-the kind with the bottle of scent-around a small tree,and hang a strip of white cloth from a branch at the height of a deer. Often,bucks will catch the scent,see the white cloth,and think it’s a hot doe-they just ain’t thinking clearly during the rut-kinda like when us guys think with the wrong head.

I’ve used this technique in the past,and had quite a few bucks walk right up to the tree with the white cloth-when they get to the tree-they still stand there sniffing the scent bottles.

This technique only works when there’s a breeze to cause the cloth to move-like a deer’s tail.

Bucks are more concerned with breeding during the rut-so don’t focus on food sources-focus on the scrapes you made-or scrapes you’ve found that a buck has made-and as I said water sources in mid-morning to early afternoon.

More on hunting the rut soon,using grunt tubes,and doe bleats and on hunting the secondary rut.

*** I know people are reading these posts-I can see the number of views and visitors in the site’s stats-come on-sombody make a couple of comments !****

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Comments
  1. […] Around Oct 21st,you can increase your chances of seeing and taking a big buck by making a fake scrape line-I wrote about the techniques Here and Here and Here […]

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  2. […] wrote about this last year Here and Here and Here *since I wrote those posts last year,I’ve seen 8-10 bucks raking antlers on branches above their […]

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